Thanks to everyone who stopped by last weekend to help Lorne Ebell celebrate his birthday. With many thanks to all who contributed vast quantities of delicious food and gifts, mostly eatable and drinkable, which we all enjoyed. Our own Shiralee baked him a farmer’s birthday cake decorated in the appearance of a farm scape, complete with crops, roads, trees, and a grand assortment of dinky toy farm implements. It was a delight to see and to eat!!
The farm welcomes folk who wish to walk about the farm, come to volunteer, or wish to use the farm for a picnic or birthday party. Please contact us if you have ideas that would suit.
Lornes Bday at the Farm
Lorne with Nancy from Coyote's Coffee
Guy Dauncey, Carolyn Herriot and Sonya
Lornes Bday Cake
WHAT’S ON FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON?
With the warmer weather we have a plentiful supply of local food for holiday eating and giving. The farm store is looking good, well stocked with produce and an enticing array of locally produced preserves, cheeses, honey, salad dressings, cereal grains, coffee, tuna fish products and our farm fresh eggs. FARM STORE HOURS: Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week, but will change to December 22nd, 23rd and 24th before Christmas and largely closed between Christmas and New Year. The farm will be open for a visit, so it’s a great opportunity to stop by to exchange some Christmas Cheer and take care of last minute shopping. Nanoose Edibles attends the Nanaimo Roots Winter Farmers Market on Wednesdays between 3pm and 6 pm.
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WINTER?
We are in the midst of a renovation of all fruit crops. We are planning for a major fruit U-pick next summer. Many of them have been in the ground for years and the time had come to have a good look at them, especially after the long dry spell this past summer. We are moving from field to field tending to all as we move along – replacing, feeding, mulching, planning for water needs for the coming year. We have planted a new field of Thornless Blackberries and increased our Marion Berry patch, both of these berries are in the ‘very high nutrition’ category. We still have blueberry pruning to attend to, as well as the apple orchard. The apples really appreciated the extra heat units and gave us a bountiful harvest. The orchard was mostly planted to heritage varieties, with a high nutritional value. Besides making ourselves a batch of apple cider vinegar, we took the remainder off to Courtenay and had them processed into organic juice. It seemed like an awful lot of apple juice, but now almost all sold. We still have a few cartons at the farm and Sean will have them at the Roots Farmers Market on Wednesday.
The poultry flock is surviving well, and we never seem to have enough eggs. We will add to the flock somewhat next spring. Many thanks to the folk at Springford Farm for taking care of the egg washing chores for us. They have washing facilities and that certainly saves us a lot of staff time.
In these days with the lower value of our dollar, thus higher produce prices from the US, there is a growing need for more organic food grown in our region as a replacement for imported product. We would dearly like to see more farmers acquire organic certification and form a marketing group (similar to Saanich Organics in Victoria). We are open for discussion on this.
This also includes new staff who are particularly interested in certified organic growing techniques and becoming familiar with regulations. It’s not too painful…. And we can all help each other. The farm will be taking on apprentices and hiring staff for the growing season in the hope that these people, together with our current staff, will remain with the farm and eventually take over sections of the operation.
The farm market will continue to be open FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS during the mid-part of the day throughout the remainder of the winter and early spring and we will do our best to keep you supplied with local, organic produce. As well, we are planning for a Spring Produce Box, hopefully by early April, weather permitting. We will be marketing this Spring Box at Seedy Saturday at Qualicum Beach. Our veggie boxes are pick-up at the farm, but with a sufficient number of subscribers from one area, effort will be made to find a local drop-off location. Part of the product in this Spring Box could be early veggie transplants for your garden. Perfect timing! You can spend your early spring gardening days getting ready to receive a selection of organic transplants all ready to go.
How about a Nanoose Edibles Gift Certificate for that special person on your gift list? We have gift certificates in any denomination of your choice and can help your friend with selection if they wish to spend it all at once or in installments over a period of time.
THE COMMUNITY IN 2016:
Where will our food come from? Low Dollar: Higher imported food costs? We have very low incomes for Island food producers. Overwhelming imports of packaged imported food make up more than ninety percent of food sold on Vancouver Island. We all need to take responsibility for local food production, either by purchasing from a local producer or learning to grow your own.
You are welcome to volunteer at Nanoose Edibles, or any other farm in the area to learn about growing food, sign on as a weeder – picker, and help to pay for your own local organic food, or develop your own garden. Read all the books by local gardeners, and there are many, and teach yourself to garden; or take a gardening course. The farm will be offering FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY FROM YOUR HOME GARDEN again this spring. I have offered this course several times before and people tell me it is very useful. Send me an Email message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and put in the subject GARDENING WORKSHOP.
REGIONAL FOOD SECURITY:
We all need to be thinking about regional food security. That is not something we should be leaving to a chain of supermarkets. It is our responsibility to feed ourselves and in these troubled times you can remove one element of that trouble by knowing where your food is coming from. There are a number of food related initiatives in the works at the moment so you will have choices. Ideally we should have a Regional Agriculture Development Council to cover the entire area, with sub-groups covering the different districts. There are many good things that would come out of this formula including being able to choose locally grown, fresh products, support local farm families and their employees, and transfer that $5 billion dollars plus we spend on imported food into our own agriculture economy, providing food, jobs and a broad range of business enterprises.
Canada’s birthday is only days away, and here we are once again getting ready to greet our friends, neighbours and family. You are invited, so please see the attached poster and plan to come along and join us. We realize that many of you will be attending other events about the region, so we generally run our party from about 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. But you are more than welcome to stay later. Please see attachment for more info
All the usual events. Staff will take you for a walk about the farm to see what we are doing, try out our paper aeroplane flying competition, play some crazy games, swim in the pond and share a potluck buffet. If you play a musical instrument if you would bring it along and play for us. We encourage participants to think local when choosing food and drinks. Because of the current heat wave, we will limit the pot luck to cold foods and avoid the use of the barbeque. Our fire warden will be happy about that.
GONE FISHING. I have been off fishing with son John and we caught a nice white spring salmon which we will have prepared for you to try. I’m also hoping that Cyle is going to prepare his wild mint iced tea. Delicious.
Staff will be on hand to walk you about the farm, so you are welcome to arrive mid-afternoon and just hang out, go for a swim and take a farm tour. This is a great farm for bird watching
CHERRIES: It is very kind of the Forbes family to think about us and offer to provide Certified Organic cherries from their Okanagan Orchard. They will be travelling to the Island to visit Jean Forbes on Sunday. They will notify us when they know the ferry they will take. We will then put that information on Facebook for time of arrival and expected arrival time at the farm. The farm will be open extended hours to accommodate people picking-up orders or wishing to purchase the remaining cherries. Please bring suitable containers, plus cash or a chequebook (no credit/debit cards). . So be sure to check Nanoose Edibles on Facebook. We will not be making individual calls for small orders.
Wednesday night, and Shiralee is off the Parksville Museum market to sell produce from Nanoose Edibles. We certainly advise you to give it a try. It is a happy meeting place for people in the area, good music and lots of friendly people.
Two hot products for sale this week – Fava Beans and fresh harvested Garlic. With so many people paying attention to the nutritional content of the foods we eat, you really can’t beat fava beans with its 26% protein and many easy ways to prepare. It makes great salads, main course vegetable dishes, casseroles and paired together with many other vegetables. Freezes well. Garlic is a wonder food – good for you in so many ways. Selling now at the farm store without being trimmed as all the greens parts are totally usable. We will begin trimming and drying garlic in July. It’s time to place your orders for storage garlic.
SUMMER VEGGIE BOX:
This is sign-up week for our eight weeks Summer Veggie Box Program. The Spring Box program finishes this week, with just one more week to go for the Cheeseworks group. WHAT TO DO WITH THE SPLIT WEEK THIS WEEKS???. We are going to put the boxes together on the Tuesday and deliver the produce to Cheeseworks Tuesday afternoon. You may pick-up Tuesday afternoon or anytime on Wednesday. Sign up with this form
On another matter, the farm is wishing to adopt farm dog. One that really would like to live on a farm and be out and about all day with Lorne and me and the staff. The new adoptee will not be without companions. Staff bring their pooches of all sizes and shapes with them to work. If you hear of anyone needing a new home for a suitable farm dog please let us know. Thanks so much.
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We have a number of things to remind you about, and the first one is that this weekend we are holding our Easter Weekend Open House on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please see our attached poster and pass the information along to family, friends and business associates. We’ll treat you to coffee, tea, juice and goodies and provide an opportunity to walk about the farm. More information attached, or see our website at:www.nanooseediblesfarm.com
The farm store will be open and staff available to answer your questions; sell you produce; sign you up for our eight week Veggie Box Program; or ask us about the FREE Workshop with Barbara on April 18 through Regional District’s Spring Gardening Workshop. Sign up though the RDN at 1-888-828-2069 or email email@example.com. Also, please let us know if you are interested in a guided walk about the farm, as this can be arranged. Don’t forget your camera and good walking shoes! We do not necessarily want to receive your good walking shoes, but we would appreciate copies of any good pictures you take of the farm.
The past three months must have been the longest Spring on record! We started back in February renovating fruit crops. So far we have worked our way through Rhubarb, Marion Berries, Raspberries, three varieties of strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears and grapes. We were greatly blessed with all that great farming weather and staff have done a superb job. We are looking forward to an early crop of strawberries from their new location across from the sales building. Much of our berry crop is pick-your-own. We will have the sign-up book available at the Open House if you wish to put your name down for picked or U-pick organic berries. Also this year, U-pick peas and beans.
This is all part of the Region’s Eat Local – Buy Local campaign. Currently on Vancouver island, we are only producing three percent of the food we consume, so fresh locally grown produce is a great way to start to improve on the food you eat, along with supporting local farmers and the economy.
One good way to make sure that you are eating locally is to join our Community Supported Agriculture veggie box program, starting with the eight week Spring Session that begins the first week in May. Please see attached Box Program material or our Website www.nanooseediblesfarm.com
We have been blessed with good staff. Two new Apprentices: Sean and Eddie, are both doing very well- learning the business of organic farming. Caleb, our principal field person sadly is leaving us this spring. He and his wife and family are returning to their roots in Ontario, and he will be sorely missed. Liz our university student and greens expert is with us part-time and helps me out with her computer expertise. Shiralee Mulder, who you will likely know from the Parksville Museum Market, has done a great job for us over the winter months taking care of the shop, plus everything else, and keeping us supplied with jams, relishes and pickles. Happily we have been joined by Sonja who has been helping us harvest our wonderful greens. Also our last year’s students are drifting back and that is very nice to see.
I was in Vancouver last week and paid my usual call at Whole Foods in Park Royal. I was so impressed – truly that is marketing organic on a grand scale. The big surprise was all the B.C. grown certified organic over-wintered vegetables they now carry. All those acres of foreign-grown winter vegetables have disappeared and been replaced by splendid B.C. grown produce. We don’t have to listen to our supermarket attendants saying that these products are not available in the wintertime – it's not true! There are bountiful amounts of British Columbia winter produce available – we just have to take the trouble to ask for it and purchase it when it is there. No price difference.
You can also grow your own. We will have lots of available assorted vegetable transplants, as well as strawberry, raspberry and Rhubarb transplants. They don’t take up much space and they are there for you with a small amount of care for years to come. Not too late to plant.
We are feeling very bereft of farm animals. We have lost our farm cats and dog and it is kind of sad not having them about. Especially as the dog liked to chase geese off the pond. We can provide lots of care and exercise for a farm dog. The dog would need to be friendly toward adults and children as well as chickens, as we have them pastured in the orchard.
This year is all about seeds and growing nutritionally dense food. The gardeners and organic farmers of this world have taken up the challenge of providing healthy food for all those folk who do not wish to consume GE foods. We will grow our own open pollinated seed suitable for the regions where we live. And we are going to grow nutritionally dense food that has been scientifically tested to assure us that it has the highest nutrient content. There are literally hundreds of research papers to provide us with the answers for what we should grow, and it is our job to decide which of them suits us best and is well-suited to our climate and culinary needs. Besides the information is all there is one easy-read book which I purchased at Mulberry Books in Parksville. EATING ON THE WILD SIDE by Jo Robinson. (Remember – Buy Local) It’s a great lesson in food history and an entertaining read. We are using the information this growing season to select nutrient dense food for you and your family. Because of our organic status and interest in healthy eating we needn’t make many changes, but there certainly are some surprises.
The farm provides casual labour for students and adults who wish to work part time on farm tasks or picking. Children under sixteen need written parental consent and we like to receive a brief resume from applicants describing the kinds of work they are able to do and days and hours they could be available. One of our families who shop at the farm is planning to work for us as pickers to pay off the costs of our Veggie Box Program. Now there’s an idea! Please address applications to Barbara and Lorne Ebell.
We just came back from Tofino after seeing Lynn Crawford from the show Pitchin In on the Food Network. We had a fabulous 5 course dinner with matching wine all from Vancouver Island. Many thanks to Lisa atSoBos, Lynn for a charming evening and Long Beach Resort for a delicious bed.
Are you wanting to plant nectar and pollen producing plants for our region? Have a look here at some of the plants to help our bee friends
There is always something to do at the farm. With the mild weather we have been able to do a lot of transplanting along with our regular winter duties of pruning and harvesting. The farm store has been busy as we are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm. Along side our crops we sell products produced by people in our neighbourhood - hazelnuts, fish, tuna, soups, salad dressings, preserves, honey, coffee and much more.
We are attending Seedy Saturday Feb 7 in Qualicum Beach Civic Center from 10am-3:30pm.Come and say hello! We will have a sign up sheet for volunteering as well as U-pick and Picked vegetables and fruit in larger volumes. We will also be at Seedy Sunday March 1 being held this year for the first time at Nanaimo District Secondary School(NDSS) from 10:30am-3pm. Barbara will be speaking at the event!
Some years ago the farm hosted the Pollinators Picnic for people from the Nanaimo Region. We are all set to do it again. But we need your help, first of all to learn all about the pollinators who pollinate our fruits, vegetables and flowers: AND THEN to help us host the event. Please volunteer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org We are looking for a team of about 10 or 12 adults and younger folk to help if all the different events that take place on that day. We will hold a Saturday meeting at the farm store and go over all the different events and find out how you can assist. This event will be well-suited to gardening folk and families, and everyone for that matter who need to know about pollinators.
We will be providing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Veggie Box program Spring, Summer and Fall. Each week from April through to November you will be receiving nutrient dense produce from our farm! Sign up at the farm, email us email@example.com the registration form or come by one of the markets that we are attending(Seedy Saturday, Seedy Sunday and Island Root Co-op on Wednesdays)
To sign up please fill out the Registration form click here For more information on what we grow click here To see our brochure click here insideoutside Help spread the word by putting up a poster click here
What does CSA mean? The Community Supported Agriculture concept originated in Japan after the war. Japanese housewives in order to guarantee food for their households,for Japanese farmers to be paid in advance for growing the crops and to support the farm and their families. CSA’s moved to Europe and US and Canada soon after and now make up a major part of small farmers’ incomes. Because there are no available support programs for start-up agriculture, farmers struggle in the late winter and early spring to have enough money for start-up. This applies particularly to start-up wages. Often a farm has finished the season with a crew of well-trained young farmers, but with little or no income to see them through the winter and start-up again in the spring. That is where you come in. It would be a great help to the farms who run CSA Produce Box Programs if you were able to help with up-front costs by paying for your initial produce boxes in advance. That way you can bring happiness to the farmers as well as their bankers!!!
NUTRIENT-DENSE PRODUCE The crew at Nanoose Edibles is constantly thinking about how we might serve you better. Thankfully food scientist worldwide are reviewing how we have eaten overtime and evaluating historic levels of nutrition, with our modern fruits and vegetables. We are using that information to select the seeds and plants we grow for our customers. Rich well-balanced soils combined with carefully selected seeds and plants to produce nutrient-dense crops. Mostly they will look the same, maybe a little less fashionable, with a different colour range. Sometimes the seeds, plants, and trees will not be easy to find – it takes a bit of sloothing. Expect some differences in flavour. We would appreciate feedback from you and your suggestions for varieties of fruits and vegetable. We will be renovating the orchard and saving some of the old quality trees (I didn’t say pretty). If you have a favourite old apple you would like us to propagate please send us a message. Another chapter next month.
Chelsea has been going to the Island Root Market every Wednesday from 3pm-6pm in Nanaimo. Chelsea has been learning many things on the farm but she has been specializing on how to seed and transplant.
Staff at Nanoose Edibles have been busy all through January renovating fruit crops and creating certified organic transplants. Rosy Red Rhubarb roots ($6/root), Heritage day-neutral Raspberries (3for$10) Tribute & Seascape Strawberry roots $1 per plant in bunches of 10 or 25. Clean bare root plants are available at Island Root farmers markets on Wednesday in Nanaimo, at our farm Friday Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm also at Seedy Saturday & Seedy Sunday(March). If you are wanting large volumes please email us to discuss discounts and deliver firstname.lastname@example.org We will also be attending the Island Agriculture Show in Courtney Feb 13 &14 if delivery is required.
Events 2015 Feb 7 -Seedy Saturday in Qualicum Beach Feb 11 Wed- Growing Food - Easy ways to get the best from your garden in Cowichan Valley Feb 13 & 14 - Friday and Saturday - Island Agriculture Show in Comox Valley March 1 - Seedy Sunday in Nanaimo - New location at Nanaimo District Secondary School (NDSS) Aug - Pollinators Picnic at our farm - more information to come shortly!
Just a few more sleeps until Christmas. Our granddaughter arrived home from Australia today and our grandson arrives on Christmas Day.
All of us at Nanoose Edibles Farm wish you a happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year. 2015 will be ‘The Year of the Environment’, and will test our ability to care for this wonderful province, its beauty and abundant resources.
Most of the world’s troubles have stayed far away from us, but we have a heavy heart for our friends in Liberia, where we lived for most of the 1970’s. They suffered through a devastating revolution which pretty much destroyed the country, and have spent most of the past ten years rebuilding their villages and their lives. With a great deal of aid from Canadians and others, they were pretty much back on their feet when struck by the ongoing ebola virus, with many people still dying.
They are amazing survivors. Lorne and I are assisting with the development of a honey bee industry. This is going well, with the surviving members of the co-operative carrying on this endeavour. If you are interested in learning more, check out Vancouver based - Universal Outreach, Liberia.
Here on the farm we have had a good year. Great staff, good harvest, and everyone looking forward to the challenges of 2015. January/February will be taken up with the Seedy Saturday at Qualicum Beach and Seedy Sunday in Nanaimo, both great events worth attending. We will also be preparing to launch our Community Supported Agriculture Produce Box Program. We did a test run this fall, which was very well supported and keen interest shown to continue in the New Year. We will be featuring a wide assortment of farm-produced nutrient rich produce, sold in eight week increments, so that households can go in and out of the program as their households require during the year.
Beginning after the New Year our Friday, Saturday Sunday On-Farm Market will continue to provide customers with a good assortment of certified organic winter vegetables and fruit; products from local providers; frozen product from the farm freezers, including our organic stewing chickens and a wide variety of frozen berries. Not too late to make black currant or strawberry jam. Watch for early transplants from our propagation greenhouse.
Thanks to all the people who supported Nanoose Edibles at the regional farmers markets: Qualicum Beach Market, Parkville Museum Market, and currently the Island Roots Market in Nanaimo. Farmers Markets are good for the farm in a number of ways, but for us it is mostly a great opportunity for young staff to run a market independent of staff on the farm. Of course, they get picking assistance, but the success of the market is in their hands. We are always impressed how well they rise to the occasion.
Lorne and Barbara attended the B.C. Seed Gathering 2014 in Richmond this Fall. We were part of a group called ‘The Knowledge Keepers’ – now what could be nicer than that! It was a truly enjoyable and successful meeting with seed savers from all over the province meeting together to formally acknowledge the launch of a Provincial Seed Savers Co-operative to take in all the various seed savers groups and businesses around the province. It woke up our seed saving genes and we came back keen to get on with the cleaning and sorting seeds the farm produced this year. Besides using them ourselves, being able to offer them at the Seedy Days, we also have a buyer - Sugar Shack Seeds here in Parksville.
In wishing you a Happy New Year, we also ask for your support keeping the farm moving forward, caring for the land and coaching along a new generation of farmers to feed the Island’s growing population. The way we look at it, we are taking care of your health and constantly reading and discussing what we can grow and how best to grow it in order to bring you the healthiest produce possible, grown right here in your community. We look forward to seeing you at the farm. Thank you so much, Barbara, Lorne and the Gang.
SPRING HOURS START EASTER WEEKEND FROM TUE- SUNDAY from 10am-3pm (We let the plants rest on Monday)
Nanoose Edibles Market has been trundling alone all winter, taking care of our on-farm and off-farm customers and getting ready for the 2014 growing season. Easter Weekend Spring Opening. Come join us for a cup of Coyote Roasting coffee, take a tour of the farm, visit the greenhouses and Lorne's shop. For this event we are featuring Certified Organic transplants grown on the farm, in small and large quantities. Bring a container as you will be purchasing by the plant and not by the plastic container. You can also leave us an order for transplants you require for the future.
Barb is offering to teach a Gardeners Workshop sometime in April or early May. FOOD SECURITY FROM YOUR HOME GARDEN. $45 person. We’re suggesting a Saturday morning, here at the farm. It could be a weekday. I need to hear from you. Handout material will be provided, so bring along a gardening binder. Please email us what day would work best. email@example.com
ALR Bill 24
The bill is being debated this Monday(April 7) The bill separates farm land into two zones. In the bills draft there is a possibility the land in zone 2(90%) could be used for non-farming purposes. This could lead to the farm land being used for oil and gas companies. With the current water crisis in California and already increased food costs. Bill 24 is totally wrong and should be withdrawn. By degrading and undervaluing the agriculture land reserve we are destroying the provinces assured food supply. It is time for serious consultation with farmers and people of this province to assure adequate regulations protect farmland and our food supply into the future.
Please act now - before Monday! Let your voice be heard Premier Clark - Premier@gov.bc.ca Minister Bill Bennett - firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Minister Pat Pimm firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Minister Steve Thompson - flnr@firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Leonard Krog - firstname.lastname@example.org
Please consider our Certified Organic veggie box as a way of providing a certain supply of organic food for your family. You will receive a great range of quality produce throughout the season, the same produce exactly that goes to the farmers markets; our on-farm market; our local vendors and our restaurant customers. In order to save farming time for our staff we have asked James Street of Whole Hog Farm to do the deliveries for us. He delivers from Ladysmith to Courtenay so it a great opportunity to acquire our organic produce if you are some distance from the farm.
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know Hilltop Bistro is a long time customer of the farm? The bistro is up on Rutherford Hill and creates amazing food. It is a cozy restaurant that is always a hit.
TRAILERS WANTED FOR THE FARM
The farm is looking for two inexpensive trailers for accommodation for visiting farm workers. If you know of a trailer that needs a new home please email us at email@example.com
If you have - plastic bags, Nanoose Edibles eggs cartons that are in good shape, large plant containers, or any glass jars with lids we will gladly accept them to be reused.
EASTER WEEKEND OPEN HOUSE & TRANSPLANT SALE
Come for a walk about, join us for a cup of Coyote Coffee, bring your children ,friends , family. Lorne will show you through his workshop and comment of various types of tools and equipment that we have acquired. TRANSPLANTS: Certified organic farm grow, the farm produces its own organic transplants and will have them available for purchase. Large orders not required. We provide a container and you fill it with whatever you like to grow.We have lettuce, arugula, parsley, cilantro, fennel, ever-bearing strawberries and much more! SIGN UP: Please check in at the Sign-up Table: We will be receiving information from people who wish to be called in for casual work or to volunteer. Also local candidates for the SOIL APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM. (A season-long farming/gardening experience.) BERRIES ANDPRODUCE: Put your name in the book for picked or U-pick fruits, vegetables and berries. First come first served. FARM WORKERS: Receiving applications for full and part-time farm workers. PICKERS: Also for pickers (any age) to pick berries on a call-up basis. Young Folk, 15 years and under (must have written parental permission.)